November 10, 2015

Cryotherapy - Gigi Hadid's pre-Victoria's Secret prep!

Forgot the sauna, the next extreme temperature to endure in the name of beauty is ice cold! A part of elite sports star regimes, celebrities and Park Avenue princesses, cryotherapy involves locking your body in freezing temperatures to stimulate blood circulation. 

According to Karl Benn, manager of the Cryolab in Sydney, Australia, after just one treatment a patient’s white blood cells increase four-fold and they’ll have burned hundreds of calories while inside the cryopod. Sounds easy?

This alternative health treatment originated in Japan, and is popular in Europe and the United States. The cryotherapy process involves exposure to cold, dry air for up to three minutes. Nitrogen gas chilled to below 150 degrees shocks the body by revving up blood circulation and stimulating the immune system.

In the weeks leading up to the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (which just took place today), a little out-of-the-box beauty prep is to be expected. Gigi Hadid used cryotherapy as part of her preparation routine to ensure her body was looking it's absolute best. 

"I did cryotherapy yesterday, which is freezing-cold, but it's really good for blood circulation. And, you know, after having two workouts a day for a week, it's really good for healing your muscles and feeling fresh and having good energy," she tells Refinery29 backstage. 

"I did it once before, and my mom does it a lot. I wanted to do it before the show, and it’s great," Hadid says.

During the three-minute sessions, clients are placed in a 1.8m tubular machine pumping out air hovering between an icy minus 120 and minus 180 degrees Celcius. It’s the treatment du jour for people who want to boost their metabolism, loosen their muscles, flatten their stomachs, reduce cellulite and allegedly burn up to 3350 kilojoules without moving a muscle.

Science says these machines can reduce inflammation in the body but are not miracle calorie torches or a quick way to lose weight. 

The cooling of the body has an anti-inflammatory benefit,” says Park Avenue plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Levine. “But cryotherapy as you’re talking about it, is akin to a medical fad,” he says, pointing fingers at the industry’s claims that a person can burn hundreds of calories during one speedy session.

“If there was a way to burn 800 calories in three minutes it would be a whole lot more popular than it is,” says Levine, “and a whole lot more than the $90 that they’re charging for it.”

Would you try it or have before? 

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